Introduction to Organic Chemistry

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Introduction to Organic Chemistry addresses the concept of organic chemistry as it differs from the concepts of inorganic chemistry. To prepare students to study the multitude of compounds produced by carbon, the concept of isomers, both structural and geometric are introduced. From this study of isomers, a pattern is presented that will guide the student through the study of organic chemistry.
Electronic geometries play an important role in organic chemistry as electron pushing and pulling directs the course of reactions. An introduction to organic chemistry must include determination of electron geometries and accompanying orbital hybridizations to help the organic student acquire a perspective on the spatial arrangement present in organic molecules. Using the computer’s ability to present these topics in an animated fashion, the program guides the students as they differentiate among these geometries and hybridizations.

In the section on Lewis dot theory as it specifically relates to organic molecules, the student reviews the concept of single bonding, multiple bonding, and non-bonding. The importance of lone pair electrons and their location is discussed.

Bond polarity studies further enhance the spatial study of organic molecules as the student applies knowledge of electronegativity to direction of polarity. Bond polarity leads into determination and assignment of formal charge as the organic student lays a background for understanding the spatial concentration of charges, hence an important part of any introduction to organic chemistry.

The concepts of the expanded structure (Lewis structure), condensed structure, and line-angle structure are developed in the section concerning writing organic structures. Students learn the advantages and disadvantages of each and how to convert one form to the other. The concept and fallacy of the “straight chain” is discovered.

In the section devoted to isomers, the program carefully guides the student through the sometimes confusing concepts of structural and geometric isomers. Students quickly discover the nature of organic isomers as they experience four different compounds constructed from the simple formula of C3H6O.

Empirical and molecular calculations play an important role in analysis of organic compounds, particularly in conjunction with infrared spectroscopy and HNMR spectroscopy, but are a subject commonly addressed in inorganic chemistry. A review of those calculations is presented here in this introduction to organic.

A section of this unit is devoted to a review of acid-base theories and their relationships. This section begins with a review of the Arhennius concept of acids and bases, often called the classical concept. The limitations of the Arhennius concept are noted and the Bronsted-Lowry theory is offered as a more expanded concept. The section concludes with a study of the Lewis theory of acids and bases, complete with explanation of why this is the most inclusive and useful theory for students of organic chemistry.

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